Browsing: The Mobile Data Killer App


Simon Judge just pointed out a new presentation from Nokia about Smartphone usage which is really astounding in some of the light it starts to shed about how people with powerful phones on fast networks actually use their devices. It's a great presentation, which leads with a warning about not reading too much into the data, as it's very preliminary, but it does show some really interesting trends in my opinion.

The key takeaway for me was that browsing is the number one (by far) mobile application that uses data, and interestingly, carrier decks only account for 50% of the traffic. That's great! That means people are actually going outside the gardens and hitting other sites. I think this trend is only going to continue as mobile browsers get better, screens get higher resolution, and network speeds get faster. I've seen demos of Nokia's upcoming Webkit based browser, and it's very impressive. Lots of people have even used their mobile browser to access their email via a webmail account. That's very cool - and points to the idea that people continue to fall into similar patterns. They *could* set up their phone to access email directly, but they're most likely used to getting their mail via a web interface.

I personally think there is a massive vacuum right now in mobile-focused web sites. The numbers are clearly showing there's a growing trend for people to access sites remotely, sites need to really get up to speed in making their existing content more mobile friendly, and to do something innovative and compelling for those mobile browser users who may have different use cases for the information they're trying to retrieve.

Cool stuff.


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